CyberMonday & the Tale of Two Economists

Sometimes it’s a joy to be a writer – and this morning is one of those times – because stories are floating about that are just screaming for comment.  And before we get into the Grim (credit card) Reaper report, it’s important to hear just how disconnected much thinking on the economy is.  Let me explain what I mean:

We begin with a report (over here) in which former Fed Deity (Sir) Alan Greenspan sees no bubble in the stock market even though we are at never-before-seen highs.

Does the word Ludacris mean anything outside of Atlanta?  Oh!  Ludicrous then…

Take the Dow from January of 2000 (11,723 and change) and pop it into the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis inflation calculator and you will find that just to keep even, the Dow really ought to be where?  15,897.

To be sure, the retired Housing Bubblator himself can make a convincing case, especially since we’re only 190 points above what made sense based on early 2000 data.

Still, Greenspan’s remark only makes sense if you’ve kicked the gingko biloba and have a worse memory than a chicken; in other words, you forget that on the week ending 10/15/2001, the Dow closed at 9,204.11.

WHICH if we were so audacious and disrespectful as to plug into the same renegade Minneapolis Fed calculator, might give us a more reasonable present-day Dow around 12,481 as a kind of “sensible outlook” number.

Which means – if I can handle the calculator after foody binging  – that Greenspace is not admitting that we could be more than 3,500 points into Bubble Country.  I must have missed mention that M2 money supply is up 9.2% annualized on a three-month basis.  How could someone overlook that?

Ah, but Ures truly has no creds as an economist, being only a dogged journalist with a no-name school MBA.  So I won’t expect you to trust lil ‘ol me.

But would you trust Nobel winning economist (and co-developer  of the honest Case Shiller/S&P Housing Index that we cite repetitiously as the gold standard in housing data) Robert Shiller?

Robert Shiller says that he is “Most worried”: about the US market being in a bubble.” (duh!)  Man after my own bearish heart.

Now, in all honesty, there is nothing wrong with playing a bubble.  On my website, our Aggregate Index trading model (which is for amusement, not financial advice, of course) is up more than 60% for the year (formal reconciliation will follow this week for subscribers) so as long as you’ve got a tool which let’s you hang on to the end (and see the end coming, which we do) then you can do just fine.  Bubbles for fun and Beechcraft in our case.

Right now, our current read of things is that we will likely see one more upthrust perhaps for another month, or two.  But then, about the time everything else is going to pot, we should be a marvelously playable decline.  (See the Coping Section for one possible – outlier – driver.)

But the point to be made as we again sally forth to place nose upon grindstone as good wage slaves of the corporate state, is that like broken watches, which are right twice a day, so too are economists. 

I’d give the ‘Spansonian view 90-days or less, and then Shiller’s view ought to rotate into the Genius circle, front and center.

But that’s no guarantee…just a sense of of things will work out as ‘Merica comes to terms with a declining standard of living under the thumb of (most recently) an insurance industry which has captured government to be its “enforcer” joining hands with Big Pharma which had previously led the way with government enforcement of vaccines and such.

‘Mericans sitting on their wallets and stories like this one about how weekend sales declined, are evidence that the New Minimalist/Prepper Mindset  has taken root. 

About the only guy to real cut a fat hog this holiday season seems to be Warren Buffett whose railroads will benefit in some measure if I read this right from more than half a billion plus your tax money subsidizing railroad work.  Falls to the bottom line, does it not?

That begins to get off track, except to sardonically  note that while you’re tinkering with H.O. scale gear, the real HO HO HO plays for  a different group of folks on different kinds of rails.

Campaign Contributors, perhaps?  They, as always, will have a very effing merry time, indeed.

Amadrone Dot Com

Madison Avenue Mike noticed that the HY Times has picked up on the CBS story about how Amazon is eyeing this new model airplane hobby  drone industry as have a potential place in the future of instant retailing.  It’s in the “gray lady” Bits section over here.

I can’t fault Bezos for trying to keep a leg up on the competition, and I figure it’s only a matter of time till my local delivery buddy has to head for joystick school.  With luck, he’ll be retired first, but that’s the kind of thing on our future-scope.

One thing that’s troubling, though, is how the FAA will regulate drone traffic which  has the potential to cause mid-air collisions with real (pilot driven and licensed) aircraft.

I can hardly wait to call in…

“Tyler Tower Musketeer 12-Lima mid field left downwind runway 13, we just nicked a  delivery drone with 16-inch deli-style and two quarter-pounders…looked like two fries, in there, too…”

“12-Lima call the tower…that was our lunch…”

Hold Your Pickle?

Speaking of which, Tyler will get lunch today, but in 100 cities, fast food strikes are going around

The odd history of the ‘Merican labors movement continues to unfold.  Dave Beck organized laundry truck drivers (becoming Teamsters) so we expect any day for a new generation of labor boss to organize fry cooks.  I kinda like the “International Brotherhood of Eatsters” but the odds of that catching on as a moniker are slim to none though it has a nice tone to it.

Certainly better than the “International Association of Frymen and Burgermeisters” or the “International Lunch and Whenever Union” – a kind of latter-day ILWU, and here’s one to Harry’s memory…  Could AFL-CIO come mean “American Fried Lunch, Cholesterol Included Optionally”?   Amazing rebranding and rethinking presents itself…

I’m assuming you have figured out that the reason immigration “reform” (throw open the doors) is so important is to keep poor working people poor and prevent them from making a living wage, right?

One upon a time there was a democratic party that actually worried about such things- like minimum wage and such.  But like the republicans, they were lobby-frenzy/corpjackt, too.

Say, did I mention this was…

As a Prime customer of theirs –  one other gem (which may dampen spending): TurboTax Home and Business Fed, Efile and State 2013 ($80) is out.  And other than the Dot Net 4.0Framework update  (can take up to an hour) works similar to last year…and the year before…and the…..well, you get the picture. 

Now I know going into Christmas with some certainty what  I only thought I couldn’t afford, previously.  Now it’s a hard fact…

Moon Baby

See notes on Chinese Change-e 3 in the Coping section…I had way more fun with it there…

Truth or Serverquences

After all the hype of this weekend, the Obamacare website this morning is running about 3.48 seconds of response time.  That’s faster than (4.2) and slower than YouTube (2.8). UrbanSurvival was running 1.33 seconds

Around East Texas the outlook is that the worst may be over for the Obamacare site.  But not for paying the bills, of course.

Saying What?

The Y-Net report over here that Israeli president Shimon Peres has secretly talked with 29 Arab foreign ministers has us keeping our flash goggles at the ready.  New moon was last night.  A couple of more days of possible window to maximize night time stealth….then the last couple of days of the year.

Meantime, Iran is puffing up going into OPEC meetings.

Googling Travelers Dept.

The case of a woman who was questioned about her depression before being allowed to visit from Canada  (a hotbed or royalists) has articles like this one asking if Homeland Security is Googling travelers before they enter the US…


4 dead and some injuries in a commuter train accident in NYC this morning.

Sorry about the dead, and all that, but the media coverage of this is a fine example of how stories with pictures (helicopter shots live from the scene and all) tend of make BIG headlines.  Less coverage of the 70-car pileup in Massachusetts this morning on I-290. But it’s not New York, you see.

Less noticed is “10 Tech Visionaries who died in 2013” which may not have the “breaking” angle and be east coast centric.

I would have hoped for a little more depth and seeing through the “splash”, but then I spy stories like this one.

Yes sir, time to grease up the ViceGrips – it’s gonna be a long week ahead, I can feel it already.

And no sign of the unemployment data as the milking of the shutdown continues…that data won’t arrive till Friday.

I could mention futures are about flat, if that would help?